Spousal support is essential for some people following their divorce. It may be that they relied on their spouse’s income in the past, or their own income may be much smaller than their spouse’s, making it hard for them to support themselves.
Whether you expect to pay alimony or hope to receive it, alimony can be used as a negotiating tool and may help you and your spouse move forward more quickly into your new lives. On the other hand, spousal support can also tie spouses together longer if it’s not paid in a lump sum.
Here’s what both of you should consider.
Will you still get a tax write-off if you pay alimony?
No, since the government changed the way alimony is taxed, it’s no longer able to be written off on the payer’s taxes. The person receiving alimony will not have to pay taxes as a result, which can make things easier for them but harder on the person who has to pay.
Is a lump-sum payment still a good idea?
Spousal support is contentious in some cases, because one spouse doesn’t want to be “tied” to the other after divorce. In that case, one option is to settle with a lump-sum payment or to settle your property in a way where the lesser-earning spouse receives a larger percentage of the marital property all at once.
Alternatively, a schedule can be set for spousal support payments, so the payer and recipient know exactly how much time they’ll be sending or receiving payments.
There’s no “one size fits all” solution where spousal support is concerned. Our site has more on spousal support and what you should know about it if you’re seeking a divorce.